Thursday, September 30, 2004
THURSDAY NIGHT Valentino
Seen at the Valentino fashion presentation Roberto Geronzi - CEO of Wolford -
wearing a Livestrong wristband - perfectly in theme with the Valentino color of next season.
For cyclist Lance Armstrong - six straight Tour de France winner and seven year cancer survivor - yellow is more than the color of the leaders jersey - it is also a symbol of hope, courage and preseverance - whether you're on the bike or in the oncology ward.
As a tribute to Lance's inspirational fight against cancer - yellow wristbands engraved with his mantra - LIVESTRONG - can be purchased to fund his awareness cancer campaign -www.laf.org or at seclect Nike stores - just do it!
Posted by contessanally at 11:56 PM
THURSDAY NIGHT Valentino - social # 2
Seen at the Valentino purple and yellow fashion presentation -Contessa Lavinia Borromeo now neo-wife of Fiat's V.P. and heir Jaki Elkann - Count Matteo Marzotto, COO at Valentino and heir to the colossal Marzotto textile family industry - Contessa Beatrice Borromeo.
Posted by contessanally at 11:45 PM
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
WEDNESDAY # 4 Missoni
Dennis and Victoria (wearing vintage Missoni) Hopper are doing the rounds of the fashion shows this week - he was spotted taking photographs in the front row at the Missoni show for a new book - sporadically since the '60s Mr. Hopper has been taking pictures - see 1712 North Crescent Heights: Dennis Hopper Photographs 1962-1968 by Dennis Hopper (Grey Bull Pr 2001) -intriguing images of Los Angeles in the '60s. Asked to make a fashion quote he said "You are what you zip yourself into!"
Posted by contessanally at 6:38 PM
Wednesday # 3 Missoni Show
This surely is Angela Missoni's best collection she is so talented - her father Tai said that this collection reminded him of the Venus of Botticelli, very spring-like - the theme: A Fleur de Peau - feather light dresses - delicate shivers - precious knitwear - very feminine: volants - crochet trimmings - ribbons - ruches - lace - sequins - Swarovski cystals - micro-gilets of embroidered mink, yes on summer dresses and beautiful amusing beaded Jewels called "tattoos" that remind me of a modern version of red Indian beading. I want it all!
Posted by contessanally at 6:02 PM
WEDNESDAY # 2
Mixed together almost by chance is the theme to Alberto Biani's collection:
As when, the hyperfeminine jacket ends over the hyperwide short turned-up trousers
As when the Safari Jacket is worn over a pleated Liberty print skirt
As when the tailored stretch shirt is again mixed with vented masculine trousers
An elegance taken from a man's wardrobe - all mixed together almost by chance!
Posted by contessanally at 5:40 PM
"Jackie made me famous" says paparazzo Ron Galella at the opening of his first European show at the New Photology Gallery "I was so obsessed by her and stalked her nearly every day during the '60s and '70s - that she took me to court for invasion of privacy - after 26 days I lost the trial - but all that free publicity and front pages made me the first paparazzo of the United States. I also loved The King - Elvis - he was the biggest celebrity, besides being handsome - he had the biggest following." On Galella's camera strap he wears photos of his favorites and besides Jackie and Elvis are Elizabeth Taylor and Candice Bergen - another little simpatico fashion detail of his - his gold Mickey Mouse watch. Today "I'm a little obsessed with JLo, she is beautiful, sexy and interesting - there are not many nice ones now." concludes Ron.
Posted by contessanally at 1:15 AM
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
TUESDAY # 3 more Leopard print
I don't want to boast, but look at my shoes - yes leopard print - these Belgium Shoes are the moccasins par excellence, they are comfortable, very classic and always in style - with everything going global, I love that you can only buy these shoes in one store, right in the very heart of Manhattan and nowhere else.
Posted by contessanally at 11:37 AM
TUESDAY # 2 Behind the scenes
Hush hush - I should not be showing you this sneak preview of what the dressmakers are sewing in Gianfranco Ferre' atelier as his show isn't until Friday - my birthday - what could be a better treat than to watch one of his breathtakingly creative fashion shows ? Did you see the leopard print on the right.......? Take note for next Sping/Summer.
Posted by contessanally at 11:03 AM
TUESDAY Behind the scenes
An unknown model going to a casting for a fashion show, walks the streets of "Montenapo" - note the lace dress and high heels - gone are the days of top models - or nearly, you can count them on the fingers of your hand - the recession has hit the rag trade too!
Posted by contessanally at 10:32 AM
Monday, September 27, 2004
Albert Watson and HRH Princess Lalla Hasna of Morocco arriving at the opening of his exhibition FROZEN which was certainly the event of the day - I would say that there were at least 2000 people and therefore nearly impossible to see the Scottish photographer's museum quality retrospective. Albert Watson who is as famous as the stars he portrays told the press that the most beautiful celebrity he has ever photographed was Johnny Depp.
Posted by contessanally at 11:16 PM
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Today being Sunday and as Fashion Week is not quite yet in full swing - what could be more appropriate than to bring your attention to these ecclesiastical colors - very Gianfranco Ferre-ish -I love red and shocking pink and I also adore big crosses!!!
Bright red is my "trademark" color - note the red frame around these pictures and also my website, by clicking on the link below.
Posted by contessanally at 3:23 PM
Saturday, September 25, 2004
I'm not here to talk to you about music even if the subject of my blog is the famous conductor Claudio Scimone - I just loved the way he put on a red cashmire v neck over his white tie and tails after a concert in Follina with I Solisti Veneti for dinner at the Relais & Chateaux Villa Abbazia - www.hotelabbazia.it
Posted by contessanally at 3:16 PM
AN IDEA FOR LEFTOVERS!
I was stuck for something to cook - this is really easy and so good - line an oven proof dish with sliced leftover meat loaf and then parboiled some peeled potatoes, sliced them and three tomatoes - top with fresh thyme, salt and pepper, olive oil a little grated Parmesan and bread crumbs - pop in the oven 350 for about 30 minutes - delicious.
Posted by contessanally at 3:03 PM
Modern and Antique
I'm still at Susanne for lunch and I liked the elegant way she put together this cruet set - note the little horn bowls and spoons containing: sea salt - mixed seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, linseed, sesame to add that extra crunch to salad leaves and provide healthy proteins - dried pepper flakes instead of black pepper - the oil is always extra virgin oil - and the vinegar is always apple. The oil and vinegar set is a family heirloom - the silver tray is a prototype designed by her husband - famous designer and architect Matteo Thun.
Posted by contessanally at 2:42 PM
MILANO in the rain
I'm still back blogged - it's around September 15th - in Milano it is often grey, rainy and there is always a strike - this time it was public transport! What better way than to spend the time with Matteo and Susanne Thun - cosily sit and sip coffee - look out onto their green and luscious terrace - always so beautifully kept.
Posted by contessanally at 1:12 PM
SEEN AT THE VENICE BIENNALE OF ARCHITECTURE # 9
U.S. PAVILION - PREDOCK_FRANE
photo courtesy www.transcond.com
Called "Acqua Alta" this project uses a 'pixelated' field of 5,000 nearly invisible filaments to evoke the high-tide water patterns of flooding in Venice. The resulting space is meant to encourage contemplation, spirituality, and reflection by immersing visitors in the natural and evolutionary forces that shape this historic and mysterious city.
I once was 'immersed' in one of the worst floods - the water went over my knees - even the elevated gang planks weren't high enough - under these circumstances Venetians wear high rubber fishing boots.......
Posted by contessanally at 11:34 AM
Friday, September 24, 2004
SEEN AT THE VENICE BIENNALE OF ARCHITECTURE # 8
BRITISH PAVILION - JOHN PAWSON
NOVY DVUR MONASTERY
John Pawson is one of nine architects whose work is showcased in the British Pavilion. He exhibits his new extraodinary Cistercian monastery of Novy Dvur in Bohemia, an on going project since 1999. His interest in food is well know and documented in the book which he wrote Living and Eating (with Anne Bell - Ebury Press 2001) - it was voted the best cook book of the year.
Among Mr. Pawson's favorite foods are risotto "though I'm not very good at making it", turbot and vanilla.
Food writing seems to be a definite trend in the past few years - in fact we have architects writing about Food and Living and we have former chef - Anthony Bourdain that searches the globe for the perfect meal - A Cook's Tour (Bloomsbury 2002) and we have writers - Diane Mott Davidson that write about catering, murder and mouthwatering recipes - Double Shot (William Morrow 2004) and we have a photographer/designer and miscellanist - Ben Schott that write about irrelevant food trivia - Schott's Food and Drink Miscellany (Bloomsbury 2003) etc. etc....
Now going back to Venice where John Pawson was photographed in front of the gigantic photo of the inside of the monastery church - was he meditating his next cook book - out next year - in collaboration with the Cistercian monks?
all books are available through www.amazon.co.uk
SEEN AT THE VENICE BIENNALE OF ARCHITECTURE # 7
CITIES OF WATER
The floating city is really the first floating pavilion of the Biennale - a sort of large 'ship' with an outdoor deck/bar is anchored in the Arsenale basin - it offers visitors a broad survey of the projects of 'water cities' in one of the most historically significant water cities of the world - Venice. About twenty cities from Bilbao to Buenos Aires, Lyons to Seul - present their respective reviews of the metamorphosis undergone by their respective urban waterfronts.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
SEEN AT THE VENICE BIENNALE OF ARCHITECTURE # 6
BELGIUM PAVILION - MARIE-FRANCOISE PLISSART - Photographs and videos
KINSHASA, THE IMAGINARY CITY
"Can a City exist without architecture? And what is architecture?
How modern is modernity? How universal is urban planning?
Can urbanity be immaterial? Which urban visions does it rely on then?
These are the questions at the heart of Kinsaha, The Imaginary City."
Belgium won the "Leone d'Oro" for the best pavilion with it's installations of videos and photos of the former Congolese capital Kinshasa as The Imaginary City. This intense and disquieting exhibition shows that not always traditional strategies and architectural typologies are the best solution to the dilemmas of the world. This project sustains that the problems of identity of the community and the infrastructures are inter going such an important metamorphosis (this years theme for the Biennale) that it will be necessary to develop new definitions and solutions.
Posted by contessanally at 5:46 PM
SEEN AT THE VENICE BIENNALE OF ARCHTECTURE # 5
iTALIAN PAVILION - WILKINSON EYRE ARCHITECTS
This dark and mysterious installation in a completely black room, illuminated only by Wood lights is the structure for a building suspended from above, whose "ideas" are observed as reflections in the large water table in the center.
Posted by contessanally at 5:13 PM
SEEN AT THE VENICE BIENNALE OF ARCHITECTURE # 4
ITALIAN PAVILION - MASSIMO SCOLARI
TURRIS BABEL AND LIGHTING
Not easy to miss these spectacular and gigantic cone-shaped wooden trunks which are the imaginary remains of the Tower of Babel (the house and foundation of heaven and earth), struck purportedly by a red lighting bolt placed on top of the Italian Pavilion. The trunks metallic large centering points remind me of airplane propellers.
Posted by contessanally at 4:34 PM
SEEN AT THE VENICE BIENNALE OF ARCHITECTURE # 3
photograph by Manfredi Bellati
JAPANESE PAVILION - VARIOUS ARTISTS
This little child was having fun in the Japanese Pavilion which focuses on the Otaku (persona=space=city), a term coined to signify a new personality that has emerged as a reaction to the loss of "future". This terms evokes a stereotyped image of an unfashionable computer nerd, preoccupied with games and anime even after his adolescence. Okatus were, by nature, once-ambitious boys, who were particularly affected by the loss of faith in science and technology. The exhibition is based on the Otaku personality, including samples of Otaku's private rooms, comic markets, Okatu-based websites, online communities, rental showcases (above)...... These are nothing like the transparent and light constructions that architects have envisioned to be the style of computer-age architecture, but seem more of a parody of a Walt Disney World.
Posted by contessanally at 3:48 PM
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
SEEN AT THE VENICE BIENNALE OF ARCHITECTURE # 2
ITALIAN PAVILION - KENGO KUMA & MICHITAKA HIROSE NIWA
WHERE THE PARTICLE RESPONSES
As I'm interested in gardens, I was immediately drawn and amused by this computer operated robot - you can determin it's path - just draw your imaginary with one gentile stroke of the paintbrush on the computer monitor.
" I wanted to create a garden that responds. In reality, both the architecture and the garden respond continuously. As the sun sets and the light gradually changes throughout the day, the architecture changes by a surprising degree. Similarly, when the wind blows, the leaves and the branches will sway in the garden. Despite these changes, people believe that both architecture and the garden are static.
In order to decipher the delusion, the stone garden was devised. The sand is raked to represent the trace of wind, which depicts the garden as being responsive.
For those who still say that the stone garden is yet static, I have decided to create a garden that responds to movement. Since advance technology was required in order to realize this, I collaborated with Prof. Michitaka, the founder of virtual reality. I, hence, intend to challenge peoples' notion of static garden by experimenting with a stone garden in Venice." KENGO KUMA
Posted by contessanally at 5:58 PM
SEEN AT THE VENICE BIENNALE OF ARCHITECTURE # 1
New York Based contemporary art dealer Lucia Debrilli and Milan Photology gallery owner Davide Faccioli wearing flashy faux "diamondy" Dollar signs bling bling alla Sean Combs and David Beckham.....Lucia found these gold chains on Canal Street and thought they would make great gifts to bring to Venice for her friends to flaunt at the opening. Molto moda!
Suzy Menkes writes in the New york Times "...it was apparent that male jewelry has gone mainstream. When Giorgio Armani sends out a flower pin on a suit lapel and Comme des Garcons exchanges soulful sobriety for shocking-pink and gilt necklaces, you know that masculine adornment has come back from a long and arid exile."
Posted by contessanally at 5:00 PM
HAPPINESS is........BEING OWNED by a JACK RUSSELL TERRIER........
C 1997 The Jack Russell Store
Let me introduce you to "Le Bambine" (the girls); Pixel with the black face is broken coated and 9 months old - she is fragile, ditzy, distracted, a dreamer and tries to catch the shadows on the floor from the overhead lights - her nickname is Top Model, as she has long legs and is skinny! J.peg pronounced Jay Peg with the tan face has a "long" smooth coat is 6 months old, she is tough, smart, intelligent, never gives up and is very greedy - her nickname is twinset and pearls, she has the "classic" Jack Russell face! They love to..... play rough all day - to skip, run and jump in the long grass - to play with squeaky toys and I wish they could learn to tidy up afterwards - to lick your face - to be cuddled - they are really friendly - and love to sleep on the bed especially when the feather duvet is on...
Let me also bring your attention to my formidable friend Dale Mountan who has single-handedly rescued, rehabilitated and given refuge to more than 300 Jack Russell Terriers over the years. She has many success stories to tell all with happy endings. Please visit www.jack-russell.com for more information and their JRT calendar is superb - a must have. AND, YES, let me confirm....Happiness really is being owned by a Jack Russell Terrier!
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
PASTA ALLA VERNACCIA
So, it's still the end of August and on my last night in Sardinia, my host Sebastiano, who is also a very good cook decided to spoil us all with his pasta alla Vernaccia - translation: spaghetti with onions cooked in Vernaccia wine - Vernaccia wine is similar to sherry, it is ethereal with an intense and penetrating fragrance.
extra virgin olive oil - 2 kilos finely chopped white onions - 3 dried chili peppers - 2 liters dry Vernaccia wine - 800 grams spaghetti - grated pecorino cheese: heat the oil and the chili peppers in a large saucepan add the onions and gradually keep adding the wine, a little at the time, until the onions have disintegrated and look "mashed up", this takes about two hours - this can be made ahead and then reheated. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and then add the onion mixture - at the table add abundant grated pecorino cheese to each serving - serves 6/8
While Sebastiano was peeling the onions, I jokingly told him not to cry - he replied "Big boys don't cry"! I'll always remember that evening with it's intense sunset of reds, blues and blacks the view of the Island of Santo Stefano and the unforgettable Pasta alla Vernaccia. Bravo Sebastiano!
It is very easy to make: Boil the Fregola for about 40 minutes in abundant water - add lots of chopped basil, parsley, mint and zest and lemon juice - extra virgin oil - crushed garlic - capers. Needless to say, to be eaten on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean.
Posted by contessanally at 4:05 PM
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
LAVENDER # 2
Now that summer is coming to an end and I'm imagining fields of lavender in Provence with blue skies...the "simplicity" this image and the fresh smell of this plant... Obsess my desire for lavender all year round...I want to prolong this fragance as much as possible..I have therefore been thinking of ways of satisfying my obsession with dried lavender flowers:
Lavender Pot Pourri:
put dried flowers in beautiful bowls around the house...when you walk by, ruffle them with your hands to release the fragrance and memories of summer.
mix lavender with sea salt 1/8 and put into air tight containers.......use it to flavor meats....also good for marinating fish: on a bed of lavender salt lay a whole fish and cover again with the lavender salt, put it in the fridge overnight - wash and poach fish as desired.
Sachets and Little Pillows:
stuff the dried flowers into exquisite silks to perfume your linen cupboard, drawers or just as relaxing head rests...especially if you suffer from insomnia!
add to pot pourri to enhance the fragrance.
add to radiator humidifiers to perfume the room
add to an ashtray
add to the core of a toilet roll as an air freshener in the bathroom
add a few drops to your washing machine for a nice smelling laundry
add a few drops to water and sprinkle the ironing to be done
don't throw these away burn them in your fireplace this winter to prolong the taste of summer.
And to evoke memories of childhood, do you remember?
Lavender's blue dilly, dilly,
When I am king, dilly, dilly,
You shall be Queen.
Call up your men dilly, dilly,
Set them to work,
Some to the plough, dilly, dilly,
Some to the cart.
Some to make hay, dilly, dilly,
Some to thresh corn,
Whilst you and I, dilly, dilly,
Keep ourselves warm. (by the fire of lavender stems!)
Photograph by Manfredi Bellati
Posted by contessanally at 5:15 PM